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I'm interested to know about the effectiveness of the search application on the iPhone home screen.

For example, I have 4 screens of apps and it takes me a few seconds to find an application that I don't use every day. And I know people who have a lot more apps. Some use folders to organize their apps, but manual search becomes longer due to the extra clicks and remember which apps are in which folders.

Are there any studies on this subject? How do other mobile OSs solve the issue of time to find an application on a multi-page home screen?

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I am not sure I understand this question – Mervin Johnsingh Feb 15 '13 at 21:29
A slightly related study: A Study on Icon Arrangement by Smartphone Users. It describes the strategies that people use to arrange their apps. 5 concepts are used to do so: usage, relatedness, usability, aesthetic, and other external concepts. The majority of participants used iOS, though. By the way, I think that your question is relevant and interesting. I don't understand the downvotes. – Pep López May 3 '13 at 11:11
This really is a "could you google this research for me" question instead of one about trying to solve a problem. – Koen Lageveen Jun 18 '13 at 5:48
iOS 7 addresses that issue, now you can search apps from any of the screens . – Nash Vail Jul 18 '13 at 7:59
up vote 1 down vote accepted

For something to read regarding human information behavior, you can read a seminal article titled, "As we may think", in the information science field about search interfaces written by Vannevar Bush in 1945. Here is an animation video of the device he imagined folks would use to organize information at their desk.

In regards to more specific readings on organization of apps on a mobile device and mobile search behavior, you can take a look at Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) scholarly literature. Two databases to find these articles include HCI Bib and ACM Digital Library

Here are some citations:

  1. Matthias Böhmer and Antonio Krüger. 2013. A study on icon arrangement by smartphone users. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2137-2146. DOI=10.1145/2470654.2481294
  2. Ziefle, M., and Bay, S. Mental models of a cellular phone menu. comparing older and younger novice users mobile. In Proc. MobileHCI (2004).
  3. St. Amant, R., Horton, T. E., and Ritter, F. E. Model-based evaluation of cell phone menu interaction. In Proc. CHI (2004).
  4. Karen Church and Nuria Oliver. 2011. Understanding mobile web and mobile search use in today's dynamic mobile landscape. In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 67-76. DOI=10.1145/2037373.2037385

  5. Hendrik Müller, Jennifer Gove, and John Webb. 2012. Understanding tablet use: a multi-method exploration. In Proceedings of the 14th international conference on Human-computer interaction with mobile devices and services (MobileHCI '12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1-10. DOI=10.1145/2371574.2371576

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